Snap to Grid: A User's Guide to Digital Arts, Media, and Cultures

Overview

In Snap to Grid, an idiosyncratic guide to the interactive, telematic era, Peter Lunenfeld maps out the trajectories that digital technologies have traced upon our cultural imaginary. His clear-eyed evaluation of new media includes an impassioned discussion--informed by the discourses of technology, aesthetics, and cultural theory--of the digital artists, designers, and makers who matter most.
"Snap to grid" is a command that instructs the computer to take hand-drawn lines and ...

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Overview

In Snap to Grid, an idiosyncratic guide to the interactive, telematic era, Peter Lunenfeld maps out the trajectories that digital technologies have traced upon our cultural imaginary. His clear-eyed evaluation of new media includes an impassioned discussion--informed by the discourses of technology, aesthetics, and cultural theory--of the digital artists, designers, and makers who matter most.
"Snap to grid" is a command that instructs the computer to take hand-drawn lines and plot them precisely in Cartesian space. Users regularly disable this function the moment they open an application because the gains in predictability and accuracy are balanced against the losses of ambiguity and expressiveness. Lunenfeld uses "snap to grid" as a metaphor for how we manipulate and think about the electronic culture that enfolds us. In this book he snaps his seduction by the machine to the grid of critical thinking.How can we compare new media to established media? Must we revert to a default dichotomy between utopia and desolation, the notion that media, even digital media, by themselves can redeem or damn us? As he answers these and other questions, Lunenfeld takes into account the post-1989 politico-economic context in which new media have developed and grounds the insights of theory in the constraints of production. Artists discussed include Mark Amerika, Char Davies, Hollis Frampton,
William Gibson, Gary Hill, Perry Hobermann, JODI, Christian Möller, Adam Ross,
Jennifer Steinkamp, Stelarc, and Diana Thater.

The MIT Press

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262621588
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2001
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Lunenfeld is Professor of Design Media Arts at UCLA and the author of
User: InfoTechnoDemo, Snap to Grid: A User's Guide to Digital Arts, Media,
and Cultures
, and The Secret War Between Downloading and
Uploading: Tales of the Computer as Culture Machine
, all published by the
MIT Press.
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Table of Contents

Foreword
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Snap to Grid
1 Technocultures: Commodity Camaraderie 2
2 Cyborg Economics: Demo or Die 13
3 Hyperaesthetics: Real-Time Theory 27
4 Hypertext: The Alphanumeric Phoenix 44
5 Digital Photography: Dubitative Images 55
6 The World Wide Web: In Search Of The Telephone Opera 70
7 Virtual Reality: Camera Rasa 85
8 Hybrid Architecture: Hardscapes and Imagescapes 98
9 Hollis Frampton: The Perfect Machine 116
10 Diana Thater: Constraint Decree 135
11 Jennifer Steinkamp: Light in Space 147
12 Perry Hoberman/Gary Hill/Adam Ross: Click/Focus/Dream 157
App.: Terms and Conditions 171
Notes 175
Index 212
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